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ODM suffers defeat to little-known party in Ugenya by-elections

constituency returning officer Vincent Saitabau declared David Ochieng MP-elect at Sega polytechnic constituency tallying centre

Ugenya, Kenya, Apr 6 – Little known Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) party candidate David Ochieng has emerged the winner in the Ugenya mini poll held on Friday garnering 18,730 votes.

Ochieng edged out the ODM candidate and the immediate former area MP Christopher Karani who garnered 14, 567 votes.

The MP-elect, who also served as the MP for Ugenya constituency during the period of 2012-2017, had moved to court after the 2017 general election challenging the election of Karani and the courts granted his wish setting stage for a by election.

The constituency returning officer Vincent Saitabau declared Ochieng MP elect at Sega polytechnic constituency tallying centre in an exercise boycotted by ODM candidate Karani.

“As the constituency RO, I do hereby declare that Mr. David Ouma Ochieng has been duly elected as a Member of Parliament for Ugenya constituency,” he announced.

Saitabau named two other contenders, Daniel Juma of GDDP and Brian Omondi of Third way Alliance garnering 78 and 27 votes respectively.

The MP-elect who gave an acceptance speech thanked his rivals for conducting a mature campaign devoid of violence and bribery.

Ochieng assured the electorates that he will serve with honour and dignity after the overwhelming vote.

“Just as I did before, I will remain loyal to my constituents and perform my duties diligently,” he says.

The former MP had to stage a door to door campaign to rival the well oiled ODM party campaigns that criss crossed the constituency in a bid to recapture the seat.

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The defeat of Karani is a big blow to the ODM party that remains the dominant party in the region.

Siaya Senator James Orengo who hails from the same Ward with Ochieng had to pitch tent in the constituency to ensure ODM party wins the mini-poll.

The party leader Raila Odinga avoided campaigning for the party candidate and at one time during a burial in the constituency pleaded with the people of Ugenya not to let him down by not voting back Karani.

The election, however, had a huge turnout representing 58 percent with Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials lauding the electorates for coming out in large numbers.

IEBC acting chief executive officer Hussein Marjan says the turnout was impressive bearing in mind that by-elections normally records very low turnout.

However, the election had initial challenges after KIEMS kits in some seven polling stations failed to work forcing the electoral body to extend the voting time past 5 pm in the affected stations.


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